MORONGO INDIAN RESERVATION, Calif. - The Morongo Band of Mission Indians will host the 24th Annual California Indian Basketweavers Association gathering this weekend, officials said in a statement Monday.
The gathering will take place at the Morongo Community Center on Malki Road from June 27 - to June 29.
Weavers will demonstrate and sell their work, share techniques and stories and explore regional basketry weaving styles. Organizers said the event is held to raise awareness among Native Americans, the public, the arts community and educators about the beauty and significance of California Indian basket weaving.
On Saturday, the event will be open to the public for a day of basket weaving classes taught by master weavers who are experts in a variety of California Indian regional basket types.
The public event will include a special showcase display of traditional baskets created by CIBA members during the previous year, organizers said.
"Morongo is honored to be hosting this year's CIBA gathering and to be supporting efforts to not only preserve traditional basket weaving techniques but to pass these important cultural practices on to future generations," said Morongo Tribal Chairman Robert Martin.
"California Indian basket weaving links us to our past and to those who have gone before, and the unique beauty of each basket tells its own story." Martin added.
The CIBA gathering was created in 1991 by a handful of weavers who feared that California Indian basketry traditions and practices were threatened with extinction. Coordinators said, at that time, the basket weavers were few in numbers and several were the only remaining weavers from their tribal region.
The tradition survived and today the CIBA has grown to over 900 members who study and teach traditional California Indian basketry techniques.
Officials said it's the goal of CIBA to preserve, promote, and perpetuate traditional basket weaving by California Indians, who are considered to be the best basket weavers in the world.
"We are carrying on a long tradition and want to support this wonderful expression of a useful way to beautify everyday life by sponsoring this gathering in our area," said Suzann Holman, a CIBA and Morongo tribal member.
"Basket weaving is more than an art form; it is the very essence of who we are as California Indians," said Clint McKay, chairman of CIBA. "We would like to thank the Morongo Band of Mission Indians for graciously hosting our annual gathering and for their support in helping CIBA continue its work to preserve this most important of cultural traditions."Basketweavers to display at CIBA in Morongo